“Hold! Hold!” a little boy cried, with hands reaching toward me, as I walked into the 2-year-old classroom one Sunday morning for my regular volunteer shift. His parents had just dropped him off, and he was struggling. He didn’t want to play blocks, drive cars, or cook in the little toy kitchen with the other kids. Only arms around him—even those of a stranger—would do.
Have you ever considered the power of physical touch?
It’s the first of the five senses to develop in a baby, and it’s arguably the most important in a child’s development. But really, the physical presence of another is important for all of us. Jesus knew this, which is why He reached out and touched people, often before doing anything else.
For Peter’s mother-in-law, for example, Jesus took her hand to help her. Then her fever left (Mark 1:31). For a leprous man, Jesus “stretched out his hand” compassionately touching his diseased skin even before speaking (Mark 1:41). It was probably the first touch this man had experienced in years. Jesus rubbed mud onto a blind man’s eyes (Mark 8:23). He told Thomas to feel His pierced hands, His wounded side (John 20:27).
Jesus wasn’t afraid of the dirt this life can bring.
Do you need a touch from God today? Is life difficult? Do you feel alone, insignificant, weary, or discouraged?
Let the Holy Spirit embrace you. Turn on a worship song or meditate on one of these verses listed above. We may not be able to physically touch Jesus quite like those who walked this earth with Him could, but through His Spirit, we can still experience His embrace in equally tangible ways. After all, God’s desire is and has always been to meet with us. His compassion overwhelms. All we have to do is turn our attention toward Him and cry, like a child, “Hold! Hold!”
His arms are ready. His love is waiting.